Whether ’tis nobler to keep thy lashes bare, and suffer the slings and arrows of inadequate eyes…
I’ve been seeing a lot of articles about eyelashes lately: how to get them bigger, how to wear fake ones, how to grow them, etc. So feeling rather plagued by the eyelash questions, I have finally decided to put my curiosity to rest. I’ve worn mascara since college. Period. Full stop (as they say in UK). The type has definitely changed since then, but other than that, I haven’t ventured into any more exotic lash adornments. I have been seeing so much information on fake lashes and lash bars, though, that I began to question the state of my own eye tresses. Was I missing something?
I decided to research my options.
After reading this post from Cup Of Jo on her recent encounter with lash extensions (high maintenance to be low maintenance), I quickly realized that while having bushy, luscious lashes for a month after putting in an hour at the lash salon sounds great in theory, I don’t even keep up with regular hair appointments. Maintenance isn’t my thing, but I also sleep on my stomach (they wont last long with your face smooshed into a pillow), and hear they look kind of wild towards the end. I ruled out the lash extensions pretty fast.
Then, there’s false eyelashes. I wore them for engagement photos and my wedding, and I try them occasionally when I’m feeling like I need some pizzaz. Mostly I use these single ones, with tweezers, and they take me forever. I sit there for a good 20 minutes, trying to get the one that attached upside down, the right way up. One time Jon interrupted our lunch to tell me I had a fake eyelash on my cheek – so yeah, that worked out great.
Also, if I haven’t said it before this post, I’ll say it here. I come from the school of beauty that less is more. I don’t wear foundation, I hate a lot of products, and while I’m willing to spend 15 minutes on my bedtime beauty ritual, I try to reduce the amount of time it takes to do my makeup. When I recently found out a certain M.A.C. lipstick needed lip primer to look good, I was like nope – too much work.
Which brings me to eyelash curling. I have never tried it. I remember a good friend whispering at a sleepover in 8th grade that she had heard of someone ripping their lashes out with one of them. Somehow that conversation sunk into my subconscious, because although I never feared the little tool, I somehow never went near one. With all the amazing curling/extending technology found in mascaras these days, I was suspicious of the eye lash curler – originally patented in 1931. Surely something that old wouldn’t be as useful today. Perhaps it’s just a beauty relic so engrained in the cosmetic industry that women refuse to put it down.
I guess you could say I’m a skeptic.
So, having never tried to curl my eyelashes, I thought I’d give it a go and share my thoughts on whether it’s worth adding to my minimal routine, or sending it back in the box that it came in. Here it goes!
I chose this Shiseido eyelash curler because it had high reviews (If you haven’t noticed from the blog, I research everything) and seemed like a good quality product. I’m also using this mascara from Chanel.
I’ve decided to do a side by side comparison on my face. My usual routine of mascara only will be on the left, and I’ll curl my lashes on the right so you can see the difference. But first, here’s a photo of me without any eye make up – please don’t head for the hills!
I have pretty good eyelashes – or I thought I did until I took this picture! They’re invisible in photos.
First, I’m applying mascara to one side.
I still cannot believe the difference between the two eyes. Like I said before, mascara has come pretty far.
Now I’m curling the other side. I curled in 3 different places: at the base of my lashes, in the middle, and at the ends to see the best results.
Yeah, I don’t see a difference… The right eye looked the same to me so I curled it like 5 times to be sure something happened.
Let’s add a little mascara to it…
Et voila! See the difference? Yeah, not that much, but in person I could really tell. The curled lashes (right) make my eyes look slightly more awake, while the mascara only (left) goes out to the side more. You can tell the most at the inner corners of the eyes where the curled lashes stick straight up. Take a closer look…
Uncurled (left) sticks out to the side more, while curled (right) doesn’t.
It’s very subtle, but the eye to the left looks a little more closed while the right one looks brighter and more alert.
Went back and fixed the other eye now so they match.
I also tried two other tricks: two coats of mascara and a final curl after everything dries. The first left my lashes feeling caked on and dry, and it was difficult to remove the layers later in the evening. I also didn’t like curling the lashes again after they had dried – the mascara made them feel brittle and I thought they looked a little beaten up.
So here’s my assessment. Is it worth adding to your beauty routine? It depends. If you have an excellent mascara and large eyes, I doubt you need to add a curler into the mix. However, I have dry eyes and my eyes are often half open in photos, so looking a little more awake would certainly improve things. It also depends on what look you’re trying to achieve. If you’re going for that heavy lidded, half open eyes à la Marilyn Monroe, I wouldn’t suggest using the eyelash curler. But if you want to look like you just took a little hit of espresso, then use it. Obviously everyone’s results will be different!
So for now, I’ll be keeping the lash curler. Though subtle, I like the results. Plus it takes two seconds, which is pretty minimal.
What’s your lash routine? Do you curl your lashes, wear faux ones, or go au naturel?